As I mentioned in this post, we recently flew with both boys down to Florida to see my Grandy and it was quite the adventure. We hadn’t flown with Teddy since he was five months old (he’s now 20 months and Peter is 9 weeks) and let’s just say it was pretty different to fly with a busy toddler and a newborn. We definitely had a few takeaways from our first flight with two under two, so I wanted to share what worked well for us and what we’ll do differently next time for any of you in the same boat! And as always, would love to hear what’s worked well for you in the comments!
1. Wear the infant. We use this carrier daily in our household and it’s perfect for flying too. Peter was honestly a dream on both flights and stayed in this carrier on my lap for the entirety of the flight home.
2. Nurse or give a bottle on takeoff and landing to help little ones’ ears from popping. I nursed Peter on the flight down and fed him a bottle on the flight back. You can bring bottled milk in your carry-on, but be sure to allow a little extra time for the TSA to inspect the containers. It was a little harder to get Teddy to drink consistently through takeoff and landing but it was definitely worth trying for both of them.
3. Book the toddler a separate seat. You technically don’t have to book a separate seat for kids under the age of 2, but let me just say that 20 months is close enough and it would have been a lot easier for us to wrangle Teddy in his own seat vs. on one of our laps the entire flight.
4. Bring a car seat on board. The three times we’ve flown with a baby/babies, we’ve gate checked our Doona car seat/stroller combo, but I just learned that you can actually bring a car seat on board if you book your toddler his or her own seat, so we will definitely do that next time. I think we would have had a much easier time containing Teddy and possibly getting him to nap a bit if he were in a familiar car seat vs. expected to sit still in our laps.
5. Don’t fly during nap time unless you have a stellar sleeper. I thought booking our first flight during Teddy’s normal afternoon nap was a great idea until it absolutely, positively, 1000% turned out to be a terrible one. The flight home in the evening (once he’d already napped in the afternoon) was much more successful, but I think next time we’ll try to fly in the morning and let him nap upon arrival to our destination if possible. We definitely learned the hard way that we’d rather bring out all the distractions (iPad, toy cars, etc.) to keep him awake and entertained than pull our hair out trying to get an overtired toddler to sleep.
6. Take a deep breath and give yourself grace. Our fellow passengers were incredibly understanding about Teddy wanting to get up and explore and crying at various intervals throughout the first flight. In the end, we survived, got to where we were going, and learned a few things we can improve upon for next time!
Any tips and tricks you’ve learned for traveling with babies and toddlers? I’m all ears!
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